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Old 01-22-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default General question on temps and fermentation

First, let me dispense with the introduction. I'm brand new to this forum and never thought I'd find a hombrew forum. Imagine my delight when I found this! I'm thrilled to be here!

I got away from homebrewing for a few years and jumped back in last weekend by making a batch of a mead (5 gals) and an American Ale (5 gals) for my neighbor. I've done the mead before, but not the ale. I'm quite sure I did well with sanitizing and all my prep on both batches.

Problem is, both are not having the usual strong blow-off I'm used to with kreusen pressing up through the blow-off hose and a thick layer of foam forming on to of the brew. I see CO2 bubbles rising to the top in steady streams and I can hear a regular "blurp" of the CO2 passing through the blow-off hose and out through sanitized solution the end of the hose is standing in. This "blurp" happens roughly every 5 seconds, so there is considerable production going on.

Am I experiencing a blow-off with fewer "fireworks" than normal because the temp in my brewing room is lower than ale yeast would like? I'm registering a temp of about 48-50 degrees down there. I'm sure everything is alright and maybe I should just relax and have a homebrew, but I'd like to hear some other opinions. Please share your thoughts!

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:26 AM   #2
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I think your ferm temps are a bit low, but (better low than high)

As far as not having a gusher, it happens! All of my brews up to this point have all required a blow off tube except for my last batch of holiday ale. Id be surprised if the krausen ring even made it to 1/2" above the brew. The fermentation bubbling of the airlock is steady at a few burps a minute, but in no way is this a gusher like I had figured it might be.

Beers are fickle - I rig off a blow off on EVERY brew, but sometimes the yeast dont feel like getting rowdy. I dont think its anything to worry about

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Eggo Bibo Sum - I drink, therefore I waffle.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:24 AM   #3
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I ferment my ales at 62-65, much lower than that and they really get sluggish and I worry about the yeast quitting a little too early.

I've rigged a lot of blow-off tubes, but in 25+ batches of ale I've yet to actually need one. The time I don't use one, of course, will be when I needed it.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:44 AM   #4
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I have needed a blowoff tube twice, once with an 1.170 Barleywine and the other with a Vienna/nugget SMaSH I have fermenting right now. In the 12 brews between the two I have never needed one. The SMaSH kind of suprised me as it was a 1.048 og and I split the 9gal batch evenly between 2 6.5 gal carboys both reading 62F. Some yeast you will need it some you won't.
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